How to Build an App Like Slack - Hire Remote Developers | Build Teams in 24 Hours -

How to Build an App Like Slack

What’s the big deal with Slack? Before we find out more about how to build an app like Slack, you might want to know what this user from Reddit has to say.


“Be less busy,” do you know that this is the tagline of Slack? However, that is not how things went down in the early years of Slack. Fast-forward to today, Slack has 18 million daily active users, and hundreds of thousands of organizations use the app. This staggering number shows that Slack has become “the tool” for businesses. What’s the big deal with Slack? Before we find out more about how to build an app like Slack, you might want to know what this user from Reddit has to say. 

“If you work with a team, it’s slick, simple and doesn’t require a lot of training to get others using it. Which is a perk with new tech and turn over.

Oh god, I love slack. O.O I use slack for work. My boss insists on using a messenger of sorts to keep in touch with everyone on our team (startups yay!) I used to get frustrated since he would put everything in Facebook messenger and it would get buried almost immediately…”.

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What is Slack?

According to, it is a ‘single place for messaging, tools and files.’Ever wonder why the Slack app became so successful in such a short time? Why would one want to build an app like Slack? The app came to the market when there were no other competitors. Slack (Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge) is a fast-paced messaging app, and a workplace communication tool. 

History of Slack

Before digging into the nitty-gritty of creating an app like Slack, why not do some time travel? Did you know that the main product of Slack was made by accident? If we trace back to the history of the ground-breaking app Slack, it started as “Glitch.” Believe it or not, Slack has a close association with video game developers. The question that comes to mind is who was behind the creation of Glitch in 2011? Slack technologies were Tiny Speck back in the day.

“Glitch” was set in a fantasy world with 2-D landscapes and extensive options for customization. Sadly it couldn’t make the mark and was eventually dead by 2013. We all know what happened next! The launch of the earliest beta version of Slack took place in 2014. Yes, it achieved massive success!

Facts to know before you build an app like Slack

 Who would’ve imagined that Slack technologies would become a 26-billion-dollar- company? Luckily, something did work after the past few attempts. Recently, Slack has become known for powering the most notable names from the list of work-from-home companies. To build an app like Slack, one should know the relevant facts and figures. Let us learn a bit more about Slack statistics, shall we?

  • Slack has daily active users in 150+ countries. (
  • Some of the top Slack users are IBM, Oracle, Lyft, SAP, and VMware. (LinkedIn)
  • As of 2018, Slack was the most popular business communication tools in the United States. (Statista)
  • An average Slack user spends 9 hours per day on the app. (EnterpriseAppsToday)
  • Salesforce bought Slack for over $27 billion in 2020. (
  • According to the 2021 earnings report by Slack itself, the Slack communication platform hosts more than 156,000 paid users. (
  • Every weekday, Slack surpasses one billion usage minutes. (
  • More than 600,000 organizations across the world use Slack. (TechCrunch)
  • In 2020, the total revenue of Slack was more than $600 million. (

Slack web versions

The most appropriate way to describe a Slack web app is that it is a messaging app on steroids. It does not matter if you’re a small startup or an organization, Slack continues to remain effective. Before creating an app like Slack, it is integral to understand its versions. Plus, it is free for desktops as well as mobile devices. Let us dig into some Slack versions. 

Slack desktop app

The best thing about the desktop version of this app is that it has a wide array of keyboard shortcut options. 

Moreover, you can configure your desktop settings so Slack launches automatically once you switch on your PC. Last but not least, it quickly switches back and forth with teams. Have you tried these useful shortcut commands?

  • Go to Conversation: Ctrl+K
  • Go to Direct Messages (DM): Ctrl+Shift+K
  • Go to Mentions: Ctrl+Shift+M (Desktop app only)
  • Go to New Message: Ctrl+N

How much should you pay for a Slack app subscription?

Are your eyes tired from the strain of scrolling down unread email inboxes? With Slack, you can avoid this hassle. It provides immediate access to conversation histories. In addition, it works on iOS mobile phones, android, and even tablets! 

Now let’s talk a bit about the packages. Slack is known for its frequent product updates. If you take a look at the website, it will give you a better idea of the Slack pricing plans. All of the packages have two-factor authentication and data encryption. As a startup founder who aims to build an app like Slack, it is essential to delve into these details. 


  • Slack app pricing plan: None
  • Plan duration: 90-day access
  • App integration: 10
  • Audio and video clips: Yes
  • Work with other organizations:
  • Domain claiming: No
  • Data residency: No
  • Access to customer support: Standard

Slack pro cost

  • Slack app pricing plan: USD 7.25/ month
  • Plan duration: Unlimited
  • App integration: 10
  • Audio and video clips: Yes
  • Work with other organizations: Yes
  • Domain claiming: No
  • Data residency: No
  • Access to customer support: 24/7 support

Slack business+

  • Slack app pricing plan: USD 12.5/ month
  • Plan duration: Unlimited
  • App integration: Unlimited
  • Audio and video clips: Yes
  • Work with other organizations: Yes
  • Domain claiming: No
  • Data residency: Yes
  • Access to customer support: 24/7 support with a four-hour first response time

Slack enterprise grid

  • Slack app pricing plan: Contact sales
  • Plan duration: Unlimited
  • App integration: Unlimited
  • Audio and video clips: Yes
  • Work with other organizations: Yes 
  • Domain claiming: Yes
  • Data residency: Yes
  • Access to customer support: 24/7 priority support

Slack app features

There is no doubt that Slack is one of the best business messaging apps on the market. Therefore, creating an app as remarkable as Slack demands appropriate research and a dedicated tech team.  Voice calls, video calls, file sharing, and location sharing are features that you will already find in a lot of apps. To build an app like Slack, mobile app developers should understand what features set it apart from the rest. 

Makes remote work easier 

What terrifies startup founders the most about the remote work model? There are security concerns when it comes to sharing confidential information. With the help of Slack channels, the team leader can define spaces for communication. Hence, company confidentiality and privacy remain protected. Also, Slack works well with the new trend of a hybrid workplace model. 

High Customization

Want to make your interface look funkier? From notifications to workplace themes, Slack has many choices to offer in terms of customization. All users can add apps to their workplace according to their liking. 

Automated reminders

When the work burden gets too high, employees tend to forget the timings of meetings. With the help of Slack, one can set automatic reminders. You can adjust the notification sound of each channel. Hence, Slack is the ideal tool for project managers. 

Search power

The search capabilities are surprisingly powerful. You can search for messages as well as files. In short, this feature is a big time-saver. Plus, Slack also proposes search modifiers!

Integrating apps

Are you tired of repetitive switching? Slack app and integrations help users to focus on one workplace. Slack integrations enable tools to be available directly in the app. You call it a feature that “cuts down the bulk of the workload.” As a startup founder or team leader, you can add Outlook calendar, Asana, Trello, Notion, etc. 

Helpful bots

Variety is not only restricted to app integrations, Slack bots interact with users and improve communication. There are plenty of choices when it comes to bots. Examples of bots include Paperbot, Spacetime bot, Diggbot, etc. 

Creating an app like Slack

Who wouldn’t want to build an app that brings in a stream of profits? Slack remains one of the fastest-growing SAAS companies in the world. As social distancing prevented people from socializing, the COVID pandemic situation acted as an instant booster for Slack growth. The business idea behind how to build an app like Slack should identify client needs. This section will be a guide for startup founders and tech team leaders. 


“To start, you will need to find your motivation.

Why do you want to create an app?

Is it a great idea you got?

Do you want to make some money in this industry?

In many ways, the answer to those questions will determine the direction of your journey.

Think of it from a logical perspective. Would you start any business without research, studies, or numbers to support an idea? Research is the fuel behind the birth of a concept and a business model. To build an app like Slack, there are some considerations you need to take to diversify your research. 

  • What is your user profile, age, location, etc?
  • How does creating an app like Slack makes sense?
  • Which Slack app features stand out to you or your tech team? 
  • How would you process payments from users?
  • What are the behavioral trends it can help in creating an app like Slack?
  • Who would you consider your potential competitors?
  • What is the estimated duration of the project?
  • How would you address issues such as bugs, scaling issues, etc?

Choose a platform for creating an app like Slack

It is not possible to miss out on this step, as it determines the nature of the subsequent phases. With the help of your previous research (client profile, age, demographic), the startup founder can finalize a platform with their tech team. Listed below are some popular platform versions. 

  • iOS mobile app 
  • Android app
  • The desktop version of an app like Slack
  • Cross-platform app development which includes the desktop version

Make a monetization plan 

You need to come up with a strategy to finalize how your app will generate profits. For instance, you can take the example of Slack’s model. With the help of a free model, Slack acquires new users. However, sales are not only restricted to the “freemium model”.

In-app advertising

It is one of the primary strategies to keep customers engaged and also attract new users. Social media apps such as TikTok and Facebook also utilize in-app advertising. 

Pay per download

This mechanism is fairly simple and can maximize your users. The more the number of downloads from the Apple app store or Google Play store, the more revenue the app will generate. 

Define your budget

The master tip here is never to initiate a project without a financial plan! If you want to build an app like Slack, it is crucial to understand functionalities, features, and other aspects so that a budget is determined. There are several expenditures involved in the app development process, let us talk about some of these. 

Planning to determine app cost

The planning stage for creating an app like Slack may take somewhere from 4 days to a week. From how customers will see the app to how they will communicate – this phase is all about app philosophy and design requirements. 


Let’s face the fact: an app cannot be successful if it is not fully functional. Bug-fixing, privacy settings, keeping up with tech trends – all this comes under maintenance. 

The team can utilize this formula to minimize costly errors. 

Simplified App Build Cost

= Initial App Cost [Developer Salaries + Infrastructure Over Expected Finite Time Period] +

Maintenance & Scaling Cost [Initial Break-Fix & Customer Feedback Period as Usage Grows + Recurring Infrastructure Costs]

Build an app development team

Who doesn’t want a dream team that can get the job done on time? To avoid any sort of inconvenience, the startup founder needs to adopt a meticulous approach when it comes to building an app like Slack. Hiring developers is not difficult but there needs to be a clear vision and plan. First of all, you’ll need these tech experts.

  • Backend developers 
  • Android developers 
  • iOS developers
  • UX/UI designers
  • QA specialists
  • Front-end developers

Social media platforms

Did you know that 79% of job applicants use social media in their job search? Why not? It is accessible, easy to use, and takes less time. Facebook, Facebook communities as well as LinkedIn are some resources that can prove to be insightful. 

The company can post their job requirements, software engineer job description, developer duties, salary, etc. You can improve the developer search by providing maximum details. Plus, you can take a look at their portfolios to find out if they have relevant experience related to making an app like Slack. 

Online job boards

A record 74% of U.S. companies are reporting facing a talent shortage. The old-fashioned system of checking resumes not only takes up time but also might not be effective in the long run. 

Online job posting websites such as Gaper provide recruiters with access to a market of the best software engineers around the world. All you have to do is fill up the online form, mention the tech stack for app development, company details, etc. You’re all set to build your app development team. 

Choose a tech stack to build an app like Slack

So you know about Slack features that distinguish this particular app from its competitors. But, do you know what programming languages and tools are behind the creation of Slack? If not, then get your thinking cap on! Do not entirely depend on your app development team, try to analyze each detail. Remember to create an MVP to record customer responses before releasing the final product. 

  • Backend technology: PHP, Javascript, Jquery
  • Database: MySQL 
  • Frontend technology: React framework (web version of Slack)
  • Electron for desktop application
  • Java and Kotlin for Android clients
  • Objective C and Swift for iOS clients
  • Real-time messaging: Uses WebSockets, written in Java and Go
  • Core Application and API: PHP or Hacklang powered by HHVM.
  • Memcached, MCRouter for caching
  • Solr for search


Building an app like Slack might be hard but it is not impossible. After reading all this information, one could wonder why Slack. In the blink of an eye, the messaging application made waves across the world. Free Slack alternatives include Microsoft teams, Google chat, Zulip, etc. However, Slack still manages to stand out. It is an ideal choice for a case study.  Therefore, it is worth the time, effort, and expenditure.   


How do I make an app like Slack?

To build an app like Slack, the startup founder should plan and devise an organized strategy so there is no compromise in any app development steps. Before beginning the process, it is integral to research Slack app features, its design, and monetization methods. After formulating a plan, the following steps can be taken:

  • Choosing a platform to create an app like Slack (hybrid, iOS, or Android mobile app)
  • Coming up with a monetization plan to generate profits (sponsorships, downloads, paid advertisements)
  • Defining your budget following different phases (planning, design, development, maintenance, creation of MVP)
  • Build an app development team channels such as virtual hiring platforms or social media platforms)
  • Finalization of tech stack for building an app like Slack
  • Releasing an MVP
  • Making upgrades, improving the product, and marketing for growth

What can Slack do?

Slack changes the way organizations communicate by giving them a single platform to organize activities and create channels for discussion. It is a business communication app that translates the idea of an office as a single unified team into a virtual space. 

  • It can replace chatting and messaging for your team.
  • Slack comes in both desktop and mobile versions.
  • It helps team members to set reminders.
  • Slack offers plans according to team requirements.
  • The app promotes team collaboration.

How much does it cost to build an app like Slack?

There is a long list of tasks to address, from planning to design and final release. However, the cost may range from $20,000 to $50,000. 

What are Slack bots?

Slack bots are robot assistants, they help to reduce team tasks. Slack bots can handle a huge variety of tasks.

  • They can generate more sales 
  • Slack bots can make sales on specialized promotions.
  • They can refer users to a merchant
  • They act as virtual assistants 
  • Slack bots can increase client engagement

What is the Slack app built with?

Electron is the software framework for the Slack desktop app. For the web version, the front-end languages are Javascript and ES6 with ReactJS. 

  • The Android version is a mix of Java and Kotlin
  • The iOS version is a mix of Objective C and Swift

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